Hundreds of thousands of government workers will be furloughed due to the U.S. government shut down that became effective at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2013, over a disagreement in Congress regarding a spending bill.
According to CNN, the argument focused on the Affordable Health Care Act, as “House Republicans insisted the spending bill include anti-Obamacare amendments,” while Senate Democrats argued to the contrary.
Only those federal employees considered non-essential – almost 800,000 – will be furloughed, however those considered essential, such as air traffic controllers and the military will continue to work.
CNN reports that most furloughed federal employees were asked to vacate their offices by midday Tuesday.
Despite the shutdown, Social Security checks will still be issued and the Post Office will continue to deliver mail.
However, national parks, museums, and monuments will close, food stamps may not be made available, and the monitoring of disease by federal agencies will cease.
Time Magazine reports that the government has shut down a number of times in the past – the last time being in 1995 under the watch of President Bill Clinton, when it took 21 days for lawmakers to come to an agreement on budget issues.